Back-to-School

Class is back in session! It’s time to crack open those textbooks, jot down some notes, and doing homework. Included with these tasks are complaints of the extra workload and pain from carrying it home.

Back pain not only affects adults, but also children and teens. The reason: overweight backpacks. Carrying heavy backpacks to and from school, day after day, adds stress to your kid’s body, which can lead to more pain. In addition, leaning over a desk, hunching over the computer doing homework, and carrying backpacks on one shoulder have the same effect. Your kid’s posture is impacted by these actions, adding more pressure to the spine, and causing more pain throughout their body. Interference with proper posture and structure of the spine can result in interference with other body mechanics as well.

Another common action that can affect your child’s back is picking up that heavy backpack. Children and teens will usually bend over to grab their backpacks before slinging the straps on one or both shoulders. With speed and the weight of the backpack, they can experience back pain, and even shoulder pain, within a few days. Reaching or twisting around to pick up a backpack are not good methods for your child to pick up their backpack, especially with all the books and homework they may have to carry home.

With all of this in mind, parents are questioning what the best backpack habits for their kids are. Good news, there are several tips parents and their kids can implement:

· Wear the backpack on both shoulders. While it is easier to fly out the doors carrying backpacks on one shoulder, this causes more pain in the long run. By wearing the backpack with both shoulders, students will decrease the possibility of developing shoulder pain, low back pain, neck pain, and muscle spasms.

· Adjust the straps. Many times, backpacks can cause back pain due to hanging low on the students’ backs, in addition to being heavy. To correct this, adjust the straps so the backpack is closer to your child’s back. Keeping the backpack closer to the body will help with carrying it around, and it will be easier to walk around with. Adjust the straps as your child grows.

· Organize heavier objects closer to the child’s back. Fitting textbooks, binders, notebooks, etc. snugly into the backpack will keep them from shifting around. Start with placing textbooks and heavy binders close to the back. Backpacks with multiple compartments for pens, pencils, erasers, etc. help with the process, and provides more room to fit other items. If possible, keep any books and binders at school or home, especially if your child doesn’t need them for the day.

Even with these tips, parents should still consider chiropractic care to help alleviate their child’s pain. At Diamond Chiropractic, we focus on where your child’s pain is originating from and provide lifestyle advice to help in the healing process. Your child’s health, and your entire family’s health, is our top priority. With chiropractic care, your child will be off to school with less pain, and more mobility for fun activities.